Category Archives: Fashion

Fashion Ideas For Your Wedding

My first bit of advice is to hire a good coordinator to assist you as you have only 4-5 months to plan.
The good part of planning in a short period of time is you need to make decisions NOW!

I think a wedding in December would be wonderful. Several reasons being…places are already decorated for the holidays so you don’t have a lot of decorating expense. The colors you’ll want to use will be the rich, jewel tones, such as deep purple, blues, reds, and greens, any of the warm tones.

If you decide to go ahead with a wedding for this year, you’ll need to get your dress ordered ASAP. It may limit you just a bit as to which designers you can use since some of the dresses may take 6+ months to get back. Once you’ve decided on your dress then you select your attendants’ dresses. You can go with velvets and other rich fabrics if you’d like.

Flowers can be anything from roses to orchids. Select a good florist and then take a picture of your dress with you. They will help you select the flowers and style of bouquet that will work best for you. They will also help you with your reception decor. Poinsettias are beautiful for a December wedding and you can give them to special guests. They work well for altar decor as well as small ones on the reception tables.

I hope this helps. I’ve just touched on a small part of the planning you’ll need to do so I’ll reiterate how important it is that you consider hiring a coordinator to assist you. Another idea would be to get a book that could help you with your wedding or go on the internet and see if you could get infor from any of the wedding sites.

My guide says that April is the blooming month for Magnolias. So I don’t see you having them. You might ask your local florist about that.

I am not aware that they can be imported from someone else that time of year. Your locals would know more about the southern beauty. There are also Gardenias … not an inexpensive flower. It, too has a nice full look.

It’s harder than it seems! When I think of western, I think of bandanas, rodeos and lassos. With that said, you could use reds, whites, and browns. You could use bandanas for napkins, set up bails of hay and go all out. I think a western style wedding is a very cute and original idea!

While the chocolate brown is generally thought of for fall weddings, I’m sure it will be beautiful in July as well.

Colors in the off whites or deep creams, yellows or pinks would be beautiful. To me deep brown calls for gold as an accent as well.

To soften the brown, I’d probably go with variations of pinks. There are a number of flowers available in July in different tones that would lend themselves very nicely to decor as well as flowers to carry.

For example, I would recommend using cream colored linens as they will add a “warm” feel to the reception. Then use different colors and types of pink flowers or candles.

You can go anywhere from carnations (which really are coming back and do make beautiful arrangements etc. especially if on a tight budget) to Calla Lilly. Visit with your florist to see what is in season and build from there.

Fashion Ideas For Real Women

When you look at magazine covers or advertisements, you see similar looking women. All the models and actresses are the same size, the same shape, and you sometimes wonder how they are supposed to reflect the average woman.

The average woman has different shapes and sizes ranging from women who have curves, to those who are skinny. Women range in height, and not all of them are super tall like all the models. While it is obvious that the fashion industry opts to select the women that they feel reflect a shape women should be like, they do not understand that viewing the latest fashions on these bodies does not in any way help us understand how it would look like on us.

Here are some ideas that can help you comply with the today trends in your dress.

1. Heels

High heels are back in fashion. The fashion shows for the spring lines were filled up with ridiculously high heels that actually had models falling all over the place. While no one is suggesting you get an eight-inch heel, it is however, recommended that you get one excellent black and one excellent nude heel that fits you well and looks great on you. If you are tall, you can opt for something in the three or four inch range, and if you are short, you can go as high as you are comfortable with. If you are wearing a skirt, wearing a nude heel will instantly give your legs a slimmer look.

2. Skinny Jeans:

Everyone is talking about them; and wants to be the one to try them on first. There is a simple rule for these, if you have the right legs, flaunt them. Women who have toned legs should feel no fear in trying on a pair, also, women who have skinny but athletic legs should be comfortable with these. The only reason you should not wear these is if you have excess fat on your legs which are likely to jiggle as you walk.

3. Accessories:

Appropriate accessories can be used to highlight your best features, and take attention off the ones that are not so great. If you have a tiny waist, use a belt to highlight this. If you have a long neck, you can use necklaces to show off your neckline.

4. Jackets:

Jackets can be very useful in hiding bulgy parts of your body and bringing a whole outfit together. If you want a really small waist, you should get a jacket that will make your shoulders look wider, and in contrast your waist will look even tinier in comparison.

5. Necklines:

If you have great cleavage, use a deep V neck or a halter top to show this off. You can also try the various kinds of necklines that are on the spring lines and see which ones complement your features the best.

6. Silhouettes:

If you have a full figure, opt for dresses that don’t make you look even bigger by being very airy. Instead, go for ones that really cling to your body in the right places (like your bust line), and then flare out to give the illusion of a smaller waist. If you are tiny, try to add bulk to your body by wearing loose clothes.

Find Fashion Accessories Online

Women have been wearing accessories for centuries possibly without even realising that they were doing so. Every time you choose shoes, handbag, belt, scarf and jewellery to go with an outfit, you are choosing fashion accessories. Many outfits go from ordinary to stunning when the right fashion accessory is worn.

Most stores sell such goods, yet it is not always easy to find just the right kind of accessory. Clothing stores major on the clothing they sell rather on the right accessories to go with it. They may have a small display stand with a few earrings or pendants on it, but the range is limited as they cannot keep too much. All their main space is devoted to the clothing.

It is a great deal easier to find just the right accessories from an online store that is devoted to just accessories. eBay is one place that you can go to find many different types of fashion accessories, even though it also sells many other goods. At least you get a search function to make your search easier. It is not difficult to buy goods from eBay and you can either pay by using a credit or debit card, or by setting up a PayPal account. The latter takes some time so you may not want to bother with it.

There are plenty of other places online to find fashion accessories. Many online stores focus their attention on stocking different types of accessories. But when it comes to larger items such as shoes, boots and handbags you will very likely find stores dedicated to each type of item. For instance a store may carry only handbags, but within this type of accessory you will find designer handbags, designer look-alikes, shoulder bags, clutch purses, tote bags, evening bags and wallets. Those stocking footwear could have high heels, flats, short and long boots, sandals and other styles of shoes. But such online stores would probably not also carry hair accessories or jewellery. However, it is possible that an online store that offered hair accessories would also carry jewellery.

You may also find new or used fashion accessories on online websites that are dedicated to sellers who want to offer many other kinds of goods and even services. However, since these websites are not dedicated to fashion accessories it may take you a lot longer to find just what you are looking for.

At least when you go online and type in your search term you will find many websites that offer the goods you are looking for as well as other kinds of fashion accessories. This saves a great deal of time and effort in walking around the shopping centres looking for just what you want – and then you may not find the right thing. Once you are online you can settle back and put your feet up while you continue to search for what you want, whether that is jewellery, sunglasses, shoes, bags or some kind of hairpiece.

Organic Fashions

Organic Fashion is one of the latest style statements out there and it has many advantages associated with it. Organic Fashions in San Diego provide you with a chance to wear natural clothing which is very good for your health and the manufacturing process of these materials don’t affect the environment. While buying cotton clothing try and buy clothing that is made out of natural fibers and avoid buying artificial ones. Organic Fashion means that you wear clothes that are made only from natural fibers and manufactured from processes that are environment friendly.

Organic Fashions in San Diego has exclusive collections lined up which are made from eco friendly fibers. There are many professional fashion houses that are in San Diego which promote a range of exclusive clothing, made from natural fibers. The design of these clothes is unique and fashionable. There are clothes made for everybody, right from kids to adults. All the reputed companies in the United States which promote organic fashion have websites and you can buy clothes through their online stores.

As this type of fashion is concerned with environmental issues you will find that most of their apparels are advertised with important environmental messages. Clothes made from cotton fibers that are natural promote awareness about several environmental issues. They also aim to make the world a cleaner place to live. Many clothing lines which follow this type of fashion promote environmental campaigns on pollution, climate change, global warming, deforestation and unethical treatment of animals.

Thus Organic Fashions in San Diego promote clothing lines and at the same time take care of the environment by raising awareness. Some of the brands which promote this kind of fashion are Coffee Bag Chick, Hempys, Salvation Sacks and Wylona Farms Green Store. You will find an exclusive collection for babies in these stores as well. You can get accessories like wallets, vanity bags and travel bags. Some stores even promote organic cosmetics. These cosmetics are becoming increasingly popular because of their organic content. 55% of the cosmetics applied are absorbed by the skin as the ingredients are environment friendly and harmless to the skin. These products contain bioactive ingredients that help in the maintaining of the healthiness of the skin.

Twilight Fashion Guide for Men

Love it or hate it, Twilight is still here. With one more film set to be released, the characters of the films have become household names to millions around the world. Their darkly seductive styles have taken on a life of their own as many guys try to imitate that carefree cool that has made so many girls melt on the spot.

Vampire Style

Edward Cullen is arguably the most famous of the Cullen clan. His brooding persona matches his fashion choices of grays, blacks and blues, which of course fit perfectly with his misty, overcast environment. With an air of James Dean swirling about him, this laid back vamp knows how to pull all the right pieces together for that mysterious appeal.


When it comes to vampires, black has always been their go-to shade and Edward is no exception. Though he regularly dons something black in any outfit, there are other colors that fit into his style. For jeans, keep the fit slim cut to elongate the body and long enough to bunch just slightly on the shoe. Of course black is classic, but dark washes with no distress are also great choices.


Since he has to protect his skin it’s no surprise all the vampires are seen almost completely covered. For the Cullen-look, mix and match white, gray, navy and black t-shirts with lightweight jackets like a gray pea coat, leather jacket or a cotton jacket. Vampires are dead, so therefore they can’t feel the cold weather, which explains the lack of winter jackets in their chilly climate. If you want to be true to the look, just layer the t-shirts and long sleeves to help build a barrier against icy weather.


Edward Cullen’s hair has become an icon in itself. Mostly styled after the previously mentioned James Dean, this casual mess is easiest on guys with naturally straight or wavy hair. With a few inches of growth, a day or two of no shampooing, a little mousse and a dab of pomade, you’re good to go.

Whether you like the movie or openly despise it, it’s pretty obvious that Edward Cullen is based off of a James Dean-like figure and no one can hate James Dean. Channeling Dean or Cullen, you can easily make that mysterious intrigue yours with just a few simple additions to your wardrobe.

Winter Fashion Guide

Many folks survive winter onslaught with gloves, hats, scarves and sweaters, for the fashion conscious this could be a tough going because it could mean having to compromise their sense of style on the altar of survival, that shouldn’t be the case with you, below are style do’s and don’ts of winter fashion, to help you navigate the wintry months in style.

Do’s of winter fashion

A classic winter hat is a must have

Once upon a time gentleman’s roamed the land and they did not don atrocious headgear. Somewhere along the way, novelty hats that provided functionality for surviving extreme weather became an excuse for men morphed into mobile ads of grandma’s knitting circle. The cottage creations may be cozy, but they are far from being fashion-friendly. Luckily, simple solutions exist, these include fedoras, bowlers and newsboy hats keep heat in and juvenile folly out. When looking for winter headgear, stay away from ear muffs, ear warmers, pom-pom hats, anything made by a so-called friend or family member.

Use and preserve your leather

Artificial fibers aren’t the only way to battle the harsh weather. Prior to synthetic nylons, and faux furs, there was leather similar to high-quality skins along with their specially treated friends, namely suede and patent leather; these were mostly winter-ready. Despite serious hesitation to expose garments made of these pricey materials to rain and snow, they were actually given the ability to take a beating. It just takes proper maintenance to prolong their longevity.

Here’s how to look immaculate in leather while maintaining its luster

Water-repellent sprays for leather goods help provide preventative action against potentially damaging moisture. Once indoors, dry shoes off and use a damp cloth to stop the formation of pesky salt lines. If it’s already too late, a simple mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar will do the trick. As for suede, knead-able erasers and toothbrushes can help wipe away scuffs and stains as well as restore the fabric’s supercilious texture. Steer clear of cheap/ fake leather and drying radiator heat.


Vests are the ultimate layering piece. In its arm-amputated design, the vest can be one extra barrier against the cold or act as a final finishing piece on slightly warmer days. Throw it over the typically topless sweater to keep your limbs covered and core warm. Try to keep things equal and avoid over-sized vests, they make you look like a clown.

Tie your scarf properly

Scarves are meant to be wrapped around the neck, the reason being: that one of the prime places that the body release heat. There are two ways to wear a scarf (a) The Parisian – this is the trickiest of the family, it’s worn by folding the scarf lengthwise and then pulling both ends through the loop made on the opposite side. The Parisian provides the snuggest method for max warmth.

The more casual once-around knot works by placing the scarf on the neck with one side slightly longer than the other and then wrapping it around and through the loop. And if it’s not quite that cold yet, keep the once-around loose and limber. Beware: This style only works with longer scarves.

Tips for Painless Shopping

Plus size clothing shopping is a pleasure for some full-figured women, and a chore for others. Whether you love it and shop twice a week, or hate it and shop twice a year, it can be a painless experience no matter what size you are. Use these plus size shopping tips to make your wardrobe hunt the fun experience it should be.

    1. Know Your Measurements: Notice I didn’t say know your size. Your size will vary according to what you’re shopping for. The brand, style and sometimes even the fabric will make a difference. No two size 16’s are the same in my book. That goes for the clothes, and the women. So ask a trusted friend (it’s easier that way) and with a measuring tape, have them measure across the fullest part of your bust. Your natural waistline, and around the fullest part of your hips. Pull the measuring tape snug, not tight. Write these numbers down and tuck them in your purse. They will come in very handy, especially if you can’t or don’t want to try things on. — I recommend you try on clothes whenever possible, unless it’s something you’ve owned before.


    1. Wear Your Best Undergarments: Unless you’re shopping for sweats and t-shirts, don’t go shopping in your sports bra. To get the best fit wear a supportive bra and underwear that keeps you smooth under your clothes.


    1. Dress Comfortably Head to Toe: Trying on clothes is tedious for some plus size women so make sure you’re comfortable while you do it. Easy on; easy off is the name of the game. Don’t forget some comfy shoes, especially if you’re going to be trekking through the mall all day. A simple slip on flat will have you in and out of dressing rooms with ease.


    1. Shop with a Friend: An opinion you trust is a valuable thing, especially if you’re going to move out of your comfort zone and experiment with new styles or colors in your wardrobe. If you have to shop alone but want a sounding board, chit chat with a sales person and ask her to pick out what she thinks will look good on you.This will give you a feel for her taste and plus size know-how. Use the sales staff ( I’ve found they’re usually honest) to get feedback about what you’re trying on. I’ve never been afraid to ask the lady in the next fitting room what she thinks either.


  1. Size is a Guideline, Not a Goal: Keep this in mind and your shopping experience will be much more pleasant and productive. If you fall into the trap of believing you should be one particular size no matter what, you’ll make yourself miserable. Plus size clothing sizing can vary wildly so your idea of what “size” you are can limit your choices. Use your perceived size as a guideline; a starting point. Then be willing to go up or down a size to get the perfect fit for you.

With so many plus size options available now both on the internet and out in the malls, shopping can be just as much fun for full-figured women as it is for any other woman, trendy or classic, who’s looking for plus size fashion style, fit and comfort

Fashion Tips For Plus Size Women

While I am not a fashion icon, I do have a sense of style. Even if I did not have a sense, of style, I still have an opinion. I know that as plus size women, you may already be insecure about your weight. The key is to make clothing choices that will make you look good. If you are already insecure, the last thing you want to do is where clothing that will create unwanted or unflattering attention. I have created a list fashion tips that will help you look good will you work to reach your goal weight.

Tip #1 – Wear The Right Bra
If you top heavy, please be sure to where the right bra. It should be one that will lift and give your breast a natural round shape. This can usually be accomplished with an underwire bra. It is extremely important that you buy the right size to ensure a comfortable fit and to avoid bulging. Buying a good quality bra is also important. Try the bra on before your purchase it to make sure it will give your the desired look.

Tip #2 – Select Long (length) Shirts
This is a popular fashion faux pas for plus size women. While finding a shirt in the right size may be difficult at times, that is not an excuse to buy a shirt that is too short. For some odd reason, some women will buy a shirt that barely hangs below waist level. As a result, when she raises her arms or bends over, her flesh is exposed. I am sure these women do not want to show off their love handles. The avoid this issue, buy longer shirts. The length of your shirt should at least come to the middle of your hips. This will give your several extra inches to work with. It also allows you to move without the fear of exposing your flesh to a group of gawking onlookers.

Tip #3 – Avoid Low Riders
For years, we have seen pot belly men walking around with their pants snuggly buckled below their bulging belly. Over the past few years, we have seen a similar phenomena occur with women. Mostly due, in part to the popularity of low riding pants. While the style looks great when you have the waist line for it, it less flattening when you have the “muffin top” effect. Buy pants that will fasten around your waist at the belly button level. Yes, that may mean buying a bigger size, but the you will look better and the fit is probably more comfortable.

Tip #4 – Avoid Extra Tight Clothes
I know that it is hard for some of us to admit that we have gained a little weight. We still hang on to the idea of wearing tight clothes that shows off our figures. The problem is that every shape is not flattering. Some curves are just in the wrong places and honestly are not deserving of the spotlight. Showing every lump and bump of your figure leaves very little to the imagination. Avoid these “TMI” moments by buying looser fitting clothes, that will complement your figure.

Tip #5 – Highlight Your Best Features
We have all heard the phrase “focus on the positive”. Well the same idea works with our choice of clothing. Highlight your best assets, instead of bringing atttention to your less flattering features. If your arms are your best features, don’t be afraid to show them. Find the clothes, colors and accessories that complement you. Take pride in yourself and how your present yourself to the world. When you do this, you overall appearance is improved. You will feel more confident and it will show.

Rain Boots

Whether you’re looking for rain-resistant overshoes, a stylish splash of color, or a super protective work boot, rain boots offer options for the whole family.

You can even purchase matching styles – if your kids are still young enough to enjoy dressing like Mom and Dad.

You might want to make sure you shop for the right size, though.

Even shopping for rain boots can be great family fun!

Features for the Whole Family

In general, rain boots should feature the following:

  • Keep the feet dry
  • Keep the feet warm
  • Provide breathability
  • Durability
  • Easily cleaned
  • Solid traction


For mom, rain boots go beyond the general features. They must be stylish. Women actually care if colors match the outfit, or if the outfit serves as a base to showcase a stylish boot. The look matters.

This doesn’t exclude all the basic factors. Women are also the first to wail on manufacturers who fail to meet quality standards. They better look good, and they better NOT fall apart.

Mom will generally care more about designer boot options, as well. Valentino, Jimmy Choo, and Hunter all hold significance in the shopping experience. Familiarity with a famous and dependable designer can make or break a buying decision.


Dad may not care as much about the designer, but he WILL still shop for a reliable brand of boots. Brands famous for rugged and durable footwear sway the buying decision for men in search of dependable work boots.

Features must go beyond the basics in terms of traction, stability, rugged construction, and durability. Since they’re likely to be worn for countless hours in wet and muddy conditions, Dad’s boots must often exceed the standards for comfort, support, protection (from water/waterproof and temperature), and breathability.


The teen and tween shopper is MUCH more likely to pursue a look in a boot. Just as young boys will desire cool or even “plain” rain boots, young girls may prefer the wildest and most colorful options.

Since young girls often desire multiple options for the wardrobe, several pairs of inexpensive boots may be preferable to one long-lasting pair of rain boots.

Teens and Tweens begin an interest in name brands and designers, but high end designer rain boots are often way beyond the budget. If a name brand or designer is important, shopping for sales may be the only way to obtain designer footwear.

Fortunately, there are hundreds of other budget-friendly options available in chain stores and online. Polka dots, solids, patterns, and truly unique designs are all available in the $25-40 range. Teens and tweens should have no trouble maintaining a fashion statement for a reasonable cost.


For kids and toddlers, rain boots are just plain cute. Even if they’re solid colored and functional, they’re just cute on those tiny feet.

Every character and animal imaginable may appear on kids’ rain boots. Hello Kitty, pink and purple flowers and adorable frogs splash in puddles with little girls. For boys, super heroes, dinosaurs, trains, and trucks are there to soar through the mud.

If they’re young enough to enjoy dressing like Mom and Dad, Crocs and other brands provide matching styles for all ages. Truly, rain boots are fun for the whole family.

How to Dress in India

Traveling to India? It’s important to realize that many of the clothes that we wear at home are not appropriate for India, either in terms of the climate or in terms of the culture. As far as the culture is concerned, India is simply not a country where one can safely go around dressed as most of us do in the West, so it’s important to be familiar with the Indian dress code and the reasons behind it. Moreover, many styles of dress that are perfectly acceptable in the West are downright offensive to most Indians. For this reason, you may be better off buying clothes once you arrive. A great excuse to go shopping-and clothes are so much cheaper than back home.

Whether you believe it should or not, how you dress profoundly affects how people respond to you (this is even more the case in India than in most other countries). Women who dress and act modestly are much more highly regarded than those who flout the cultural norms, and they are safer from sexual harassment. Wearing clothing that is indecent by Indian standards is insulting to the culture, and it also gives men the idea that you are available for sexual favors to anyone who wants you-even if your behavior emphatically indicates the opposite.

It’s true that many girls and women-especially in Mumbai and Delhi and other places that see a lot of tourists, as well as on college campuses-have taken to wearing jeans with short tops, etc. However, as a visitor, you are already at a disadvantage due to common preconceptions, so it is much safer to dress a bit more conservatively. And don’t look to Bollywood or fashion magazines for cues on how to dress; they have nothing to do with real life.

While it’s OK to wear Western clothes most places, it’s essential to wear them in a manner that is respectful to the very modest Indian culture. Virtually every Indian, including both men and women (not to mention several foreigners), to whom I mentioned my book (Enjoying India: The Essential Handbook) told me, “I hope you are going to tell the women how to dress!” Most Indians are much too polite to tell you to your face if you are inappropriately dressed, but they certainly notice.

Basic standards of modesty all over India require that you cover your knees, upper arms, shoulders, cleavage and midriff. It’s acceptable for your midriff to be exposed when wearing a sari, but not otherwise. Shorts and short skirts are not acceptable. Underwear should always be worn discretely under your clothes where it belongs, and it should not show at all; moreover, a bra is essential unless you are as flat-chested as an eight-year old. Tops should not show your cleavage or be too tight or revealing. Leave your sheer blouses, shorts, spaghetti-strap dresses, bikinis, tank tops, etc., at home. While sleeveless tops are becoming more common in some of India’s big cities during the hot season, in general they are not acceptable; however, short sleeves are usually OK.

When wearing pants, go for loose, tunic-style tops that cover your crotch and buttocks. At home, many of us like to wear our blouses neatly tucked into jeans or slacks, but here, it’s better to let them hang out. One great advantage of wearing long tops is that they hide the fact that your underwear is visible through thin fabric so you can wear lightweight pants in hot weather.

If you bring a swimsuit, it should be a conservative one, no matter where you plan to wear it; a one-piece is preferable. On the way to or from the beach or pool, or whenever you are interacting with locals, put something modest on over your swimsuit. Bikinis are not acceptable, even in Goa, where many women wear them.

In certain conservative locations and in many places of worship, you will also need to cover your head. Observe what the local women do, and do likewise.

Traditional Indian clothes are more comfortable than Western clothes, especially in the heat. Even in extremely hot weather, having your arms and legs covered with very light cotton actually keeps you cooler than shorts and halter tops can. And most Indians love it when you wear Indian dress because it shows your appreciation of their culture. Wearing traditional clothing also serves as a great ice-breaker; many people will comment on it, and you will find that the comments are generally very appreciative.

If you’d like to try Indian clothes, you’ll probably want to start with one of the two basic varieties of ladies’ pantsuits: the salwar-kameez (a.k.a. Punjabi suit), which consists of a long tunic top (kameez) over baggy pants (salwar) which are banded at the bottom, or the churidhar-kameez, which has the kameez over skinny straight pants (churidhar) that are worn bunched around the calf and ankle. Incidentally, churidhars are mainly worn by young women and teens, and not so much by older women in most places. A scarf draped across the front completes the outfit; the scarf (chunni or dupatta) is an essential part of the ensemble, without which you may be regarded as an immoral woman, especially in small towns and villages.

In many parts of South India, as well as a few other places, ankle-length skirts (lehngas) worn with an overblouse and a large scarf are common. However, do pay attention to which styles of dress are worn by women of your own age to avoid unwittingly parading around in something considered childish or inappropriate. Long dresses are not traditional; the ankle-length dresses you see for sale everywhere are really nightgowns. While it’s OK wear one, say, to the corner market for some milk, or while having morning chai with friends on the veranda, it’s not acceptable to wear one all day.

The sari, which is arguably the most beautiful style of dress in the world, is the most common form of women’s clothing; it’s worn almost everywhere in India, although it’s wrapped in different ways according to local custom. Saris are comfortable and easy to wear once you get used to them. It’s fun to learn to wrap one, and any Indian woman will be happy to show you how to do it.

Incidentally, those long, plain cotton ‘skirts’ that you see for sale are actually sari petticoats. They may look like long skirts, but they are undergarments that are worn under saris. If you wear one as a skirt, people will stare at you mercilessly. Only an extremely poor woman who had nothing else would ever wear one as a skirt.

A conservative Western-style dress or business suit (i.e., below knee length and not too tight or low-cut) is appropriate for doing business in India. If you prefer a pantsuit, it should cover your buttocks and crotch.

For social meetings with business associates, you can wear conservative dresses, or nice pantsuits, either Indian or Western style. Long pants and modest tops are the norm for sports activities; shorts are not acceptable except in some exclusive health clubs (but you would normally change there rather than wearing the shorts en route). See what the Indian women you are working with wear for casual attire and follow their example-as long as it is reasonably modest, of course. Evening attire may be extremely fancy, depending on the occasion; saris can be worn for many celebrations.

Even if you are a budget traveler, you’ll need at least one nice outfit to dress up in if the occasion calls for it. Whenever you go somewhere that requires getting dressed up, ask your friends what is appropriate. If you are invited to a wedding or other fancy event, ask an Indian friend or acquaintance to take you shopping for clothes. You might also be able to borrow something for the occasion. Incidentally, Indians are generally much too polite to tell guests that they are dressed inappropriately even when asked directly, so you have to figure out in advance what is the right thing to wear.

If you are invited to a temple for an important celebration, do dress nicely; at the least, you should wear something clean, modest and pressed. If you choose to wear a sari, it doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive one-even a simple cotton one will often do. Happily, you can get a beautiful sari for much less than you would pay for a new pair of jeans at home.

The important thing to remember is that your clothing should be respectful of the culture, no matter where you are. Obviously, you can be a bit more relaxed in some places, such as five-star hotels, but don’t overdo it. Those you meet will appreciate your cultural sensitivity if you dress according to local standards.